Sri Lanka might face more economic issues when the US sanctions on Iran comes to be effective in November this year as Sri Lanka’s tea exports to that country may become vulnerable, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremeisnghe said over the weekend.
The Prime Minister said this during the opening of Wanathawilluwa Police Station in Puttalam on Saturday.
“We will have to be vigilant in November this year as the US economic sanctions on Iran is going to be effective then. We will have to see what steps we should take then. It is not clear whether we will be able to export tea to USA,” the Prime Minister said.
“Sri Lanka is facing double trouble as a result of the global economic crisis because of its debt services. We will have to pay $ 3000 million this year and $ 4000 million in 2019. Sri Lanka went into for borrowings in 2008 instead of going for foreign investments. These were proposed by former Central Bank Governor. I warned the previous government several times. However, they said US economy will never come up. Government revenue was hardly sufficient to settle the debts" the Prime Minister said.
He said that the previous government was trying to control the rupee but was not successful and it decided to go for elections. "We inherited this debt. We managed to bring the economy to a position where we could settle the debt but we then faced natural disasters. Government was compelled to increase VAT. We were heavily criticized. This is natural. Then we got caught to the global economic crisis,” he added.
He said the government has decided to curtail imports as other affected countries have done. “We will curtail our imports as of now but will have to take more steps later. We cannot spend the time criticizing the previous regime. I can criticize the previous regime continuously for 24 hours if the economic crisis can be resolved by doing that. However, the economic crisis cannot be resolved by criticizing the last government. We have to take steps,” he said while stating that Finance Minister and the government top brass will inform the people on what steps would be taken to resolve the crisis,” he said in this regard.
State Minister Palitha Range Bandara who also spoke related how he was politically victimized when serving in the police. He recalled how he had to file action against the then Deputy Minister of Defence Anuruddha Ratwatte. This case he said is now referred to in the training course designed for police officers. Also he said the government should mete out justice to the people in Anamaduwa which was subjected to several attacks by the LTTE during the war. (Yohan Perera and Hiran Priyangkara Jayasinghe)
Sas Monday, 01 October 2018 08:32 AM
The fault lies in SL govs. We should have developed public transport so the demand for oil imports drops further sw should carry on with exploration of Mannar basin faster
No Problem Monday, 01 October 2018 08:37 AM
Let a professor, local or foreign tell us that tea and rubber are the most nutritious essentials for prosperity and coconut is poisonous.
Suresh Monday, 01 October 2018 08:53 AM
Govt will exploit this for sure. We can see how much they really care when it comes to budget time
ranmala Monday, 01 October 2018 09:29 AM
Mister Prime Minister stop talking bullshit. Both the UNP and SLFP led governments have ruined this country beyond repair. Some new faces with new ideas is the need of the hour. You guys pack your bags and get ready to go home
Saman Monday, 01 October 2018 10:34 AM
Ministers have all kinds of strategies when it comes to robbing but think tank is empty when dealing with issues that affect the normal people.
kudda Monday, 01 October 2018 11:49 AM
We have no say in the international market. We have been looking at the sea until the ships arrive. We don't need politicians to run this country if they are to bring lame excuses for their mismanagement.
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